3 local governments receive death threats after planning to tax pro-Pyongyang group
The Yokohama municipal, Tokyo metropolitan and Saitama prefectural governments have received letters threatening to kill officials if they levy city taxes on a pro-Pyongyang group of Korean residents in Japan, police said.
The Yokohama Municipal Government received a similar letter on July 19. Police are investigating the incidents on suspicion of intimidation.
A senior official of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) said he believes the incident is an attempt to tarnish the image of the organization.
"We're not dissatisfied with the local governments over their decision on tax exemption. It's nothing but a farce that the culprit sent a letter to a prefectural government that is not even authorized to levy city taxes," the officials said. "I feel it's harassment against us."
The letters were typed on A4-size sheets titled "Blackmail letter." "If you levy taxation on Chongryon facilities, we will kill officials," the letters partly read
Following North Korea's recent missile tests, Yokohama Mayor Hiroshi Nakada declared on July 12 that the municipal government would no longer exempt 10 facilities in Yokohama that are linked to the pro-Pyongyang association from fixed property and urban planning taxes.mainichiAugust 19, 2006